carriage earlier and got scolded harshly.

Perhaps because he was extremely anxious that he might be killed if he didn’t get a carriage right away, the knight had been running to the point that he was so sweaty.

Before I knew it, the carriage door in front of us opened, and the Duke reached out to me.

“Come with me.
You can hate me all you want, just be the mother of my child again.
Please.”

“….”

“I won’t ask you to forgive me.
Just…”

“I’ll never forgive you even if I die.
You’re still the worst father and man in my opinion.”

So I took his hand.

“Only for Rere.
I’m doing this for my daughter.”

“Thank you…from the bottom of my heart.”

Only then did I feel like I was slowly putting down the heavy burden in my heart.
I know for sure this time.

What I wanted wasn’t going to faraway countries to live, nor to be the palace maid.

What I wanted was to be Rere’s mom.

That was my destiny, and I decided to embrace it.

***

As soon as I arrived at the mansion and got off the carriage, the first thing I did was run to Rere.

Since I wore these shoes for a long time, I had several blisters on my feet, but Rere made me forget all the pain.

Would she be happy? Or angry?

I’d rather she got angry.
If she were angry, I’d hug her in my arms.
I’ll apologize for as long as I needed to.

My heart throbbed because of those thoughts.

A hallway full of silence.

The duke’s servants, who were busy doing their job, quickly bowed down when they saw me.
I was quite surprised to see their different attitude.
But I didn’t stop my stride.

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The maids in front of Rere’s room opened their mouths wide and greeted me.

“Madam!”

“Let’s save the greetings for later.”

When I opened the door, the people inside just blinked absentmindedly.

The nanny, the two maids who are always close to Rere, May, and the other maids were all surprised.

“Ma-Madam!”

“Ahh..! You’re back!”

“Oh my god.
Where have you been!”

The nanny and maids were busy flocking at me like sea waves.

“We’ve been waiting for so long…”

I only smiled at them and headed to the rabbit doll.

Rere was inside there.

She was hiding in her own safe space.

“Rere.”

But there was no answer.

“Rere.
Rere….”

That was strange.

I was the one who left her and made her sad, but whenever I called her name, tears kept falling down my cheeks.

“Rere…I’m sorry…I’m sorry…”

I wanted to face Rere courageously, but my voice kept shaking.

“Rere…”

“Rere…doesn’t have a mom..”

That one word from the child was enough to shatter my heart into millions of pieces.

My heart sank down.

I thought maybe not coming back would hurt her less.

I thought I was tormenting the child for my own peace of mind.
Those thoughts kept filling my head.

But if I gave up my child here, if I left her just because I was having a hard time, I would just inflict more wounds that would never be healed.

Even if my heart crumbled, I would wait next to the child.

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Until she opened her heart to me again.

Until she looked at me again.

If this was my punishment for leaving the child, I’ll fully accept it.

“Rere.”

“I said I don’t have a mom!”

The very firm voice seemed to contain no emotion.

“…Your mom is here.”

“Rere…doesn’t have a mom….Rere is alone.
I used to be alone, and now I’m alone again…forever.”

What should I say?

What could I say to get the child out of there?

How could I ever be forgiven?

I was the one who hurt the child more than anyone else.

I was far worse than the Duke.

Her wounds would be as big as how much she trusted me.

Meanwhile, the duke, who followed me to the room, tried to rush in as soon as he saw me sitting next to the rabbit doll.

I shook my head at him.

It wasn’t the right time yet.
I just had to sit here until Rere forgave me.

Fortunately, the duke noticed my gesture and stopped walking in.

“I will stay here.
I’ll be here until mom sees Rere’s face.”

“…You’re not my mom.
Go away.”

“Then I’ll be the rabbit.
I’ll be the rabbit and stay here.
I’ll stay here until Rere shows her face.”

There was no answer this time.

“Everyone, you can leave this room.
I’ll wait here.”

“Go away! I don’t want to see a fake mom!”

“It’s not your mom.
It’s a rabbit.”

“But a rabbit doesn’t cry like that! Stupid!”

Even when the child spoke like that, I still stayed next to her.
Meanwhile, the room was closed and only silence hit the room.

In the room where there was only a sound of low breathing, the stillness was dampening.

Nevertheless, it was a good thing.
I was happier being next to Rere than spending time alone at the inn.

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